Every Friday, Circulate rounds up a collection of interesting circular economy related stories and articles. This week: clothes, cities, sharing (or not), Iggy Pop and lots more!

Fast fashion is often held up as a trend undermining everyday efforts to build a circular economy. Owning fewer, but better quality clothes is one solution, but this isn’t an option for some, and wouldn’t fit with the sartorial preferences of others. In fact, there may be a variety of routes to creating more circular flows of materials in the textiles sector, as Leslie Johnson of the C&A Foundation explores in the Huffington Post. Johnson states how ‘end of life’ is not a useful phrase, as options exist today for end of use clothes, such as sharing and take back schemes. She also highlights some of the organisations that are pioneering regenerative or restorative practices for the industry, such as Worn Again, re:newcell, and VTT; developing processes that maintain material quality when clothes can no longer be worn. In fact, the Circular Economy of Textiles project from VTT this week announced “an innovative cellulose dissolution technique to turn old worn-out cotton clothing into new fibres that can be used again by the textile industry”, so a future in which clothes can be effectively turned back into new clothes doesn’t seem far off.

Bonus: ICYMI, cool video from H&M ft. Iggy Pop:

“High tech materials, sensor networks, new science, and better data are all letting architects, designers, and planners work smarter and more precisely”, say the folks at Wired. That’s nothing new, but the recent long read on 8 Cities That Show You What the Future Will Look Like as the focus of the magazine’s annual design issue aims to develop an in-depth, coherent vision of the future of our urban environments. Covering issues far beyond energy and resources, including art, culture and community, the piece emphasises the importance of design thinking in tackling of the grand challenges today and in the future.

There’s been talk of something of an identity crisis in the sharing economy/collaborative consumption movement for some time now, but it’s Fast Company who have announced that ‘the sharing economy is dead’. Among other ailments contributing to this alleged death, the argument goes that some of the early beacons of the movement, such as AirBnB and Uber have started to resemble the traditional capitalism, not least because nothing’s really being shared – it’s being paid for. Focusing primarily on the ideal of neighbourhood sharing platforms and the famous example of borrowing a power drill, contributors to the article talk about how adoption and enthusiasm for these services was too slow, and the theoretical convenience of borrowing a product from someone locally often didn’t stack up against cheap and easily available goods from websites like Amazon. There are also examples of sharing economy business that were forced to adapt or find a specific niche, and musings on how much terminology matters – all worth reading.

Also: Legislation is the big barrier for the sharing economy. George Lakoff, Robin Chase, Michael Braungart among first Headline Acts at Disruptive Innovation Festival. The Circulars awards are open for new entrees. Desso achieves Cradle to Cradle® Gold. Ellen MacArthur Foundation launches not one but two new websites.

Lead image: Domiriel/Flickr CC by 2.0

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